Not only did the 2016 Style Icon honoree look every bit the fashion star in a black and pink Atelier Versace gown, but she also provided serious #RelationshipGoals at the event.
Kidman arrived hand in hand with husband Keith Urban, who proved to be the Oscar winner’s No. 1 fan. “Any night out with her is magnificent. Truly,” he told us inside the fête, where he rocked a cool Topman suit and praised its “comfortability.”
The couple’s unbeatable chemistry was so hard to miss that it even caught the attention of Modern Family star Sarah Hyland, who was moved by Kidman’s acceptance speech in which she honored her late friend and costume designer Janet Patterson. “I thought that was really beautiful and her relationship with Keith. I just—I wanted to start crying,” Hyland told InStyle.
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While that alone is enough to make many reach for a Kleenex, Kidman’s touching speech also highlighted her relationship with her mother and credited her love of fashion to Mom. “I wanted to talk about what sort of gave me my ability to dress and behave in the world the way I do. And that’s my mother, who—from [when I was] about 2 years old—would make all of my clothes, and we didn’t have a lot of money,” she said.
“She would make everything I wore, and I remember looking back at photos and saying, ‘You made that?’ And there were fur coats, and little—everything was embroidered, and she could knit and crochet, as could my grandmother,” she added. “That was probably my beginning, my love of clothes, and my love of fashion.”
As she got older, the actress found herself customizing her school uniform herself as she started a self-described "rebellious" streak. "I’d wear my tie hanging out of my tunic, and I’d tilt my hat, and I’d hitch my skirt up, and rip my stocking a little bit a little bit, change my lace-up school shoes to ankle boots, and the headmistress would call me into the office," Kidman explained. "I would fight her and say, 'You’ve got to be allowed to express yourself!' And she kind of allowed that—you know, at a pretty strict girls’ school—for me to start to express myself."
Kidman went on to share an anecdote on how the school uniform taught her a slightly different lesson. "We would sit at the bus stop, and the cars would drive past. And we learned to move our legs in a particular way and hitch our skirts up and sit in a particular way, and we would count the number of men who would turn as the cars drove past. We would literally count them every day," she said. "And that’s how we learned the power of sexuality through clothes, which was a really good lesson."
"It’s done me a well. I got a good man," Kidman said, in a nod to Urban. "All of those things, I think, go into making up who you are, in terms of dressing and style, and that’s interesting to me."
Another interesting aspect: the shift in the actress's perception of fashion that she experienced after pregnancy. "I went through a period where I got a bit lazy and I couldn’t be bothered dressing up as much, and then I started to go, 'Huh, why am I doing that?'" she said.
However, after a comment from one of her children, things changed for the actress yet again. "My daughter, who is tiny, said to me, and she just said this about a year ago: 'Please, Mommy. Don’t pick me up in jeans or sweatpants at school. Please put on a dress and high heels and do your hair and wear some makeup,'" Kidman said. "And I thought, that’s so fascinating that that’s important to her."
"And I started to invest in all of that again. And I’m so glad I did because I love it, and I realized that dressing and fashion and all of those things makes you feel good, and makes you feel special, and I love it, and I’ve always loved it," she said. "And so I’m really, really glad to be able to accept this and say thank you."
The passionate speech at the InStyle Awards ceremony certainly proved to be a full-circle moment for the actress.
—With reporting by Brianna King